Thursday, May 31, 2018

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake puts Trump in his place again

Jeff Flake and Donald Trump at war
Jeff Flake told Harvard Law School's newest graduates the Oval Office lunatic "seemingly has a bottomless appetite for destruction and division." He continued, actually repeating himself, apparently for effect, "Our presidency has been debased. By a figure who seemingly has a bottomless appetite for destruction and division. And only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works," If the retiring Senator isn't running for President, then we are getting a welcome continuity of characterizations of the kind of idiot that was elected by more idiots to the White House.

Jeff Flake has decided he cannot defend his Senate seat in Arizona, but really should know a run for president is also useless for a virtual national unknown. However, the latter may have changed lately with his regular attacks on T-rump, and the man does come off as an affable guy, the complete opposite of his opponent. Here is an interesting analogy by the Senator...
"You could say that we are witnesses to history. And if it were possible to divorce ourselves from the obvious tragedy of this debacle, I suppose that might even be interesting, the way some rare diseases are interesting to medical researchers."
I can certainly agree that Donald Trump is a disease, something like Ebola, perhaps, the worst kind that kills everything around it, highly contagious as it spreads from person to person, until it has wiped out an entire population. And Flake has been doing some of his blasting of Trump from the Senate floor where fellow Republicans, some Trump supporters, have to listen to his barrage. He even used the "Make America Great Again" battle cry as an example of T-rump's failure...
"To be clear, we did not become great — and will never be great — by indulging and encouraging our very worst impulses. It doesn’t matter how many red caps you sell."
Jeff Flake's general tenor, which runs through most of what he says is that Washington has given itself to the likes of Donald Trump, and that many, like himself, don't like this style of government and aren't going to take it anymore. And that seems perfectly clear with the recent exodus from Congress, mostly Republicans. This all means someone must save our country, but who will that be?

Recommended reading: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake bashes Trump again

Roseanne a Trump clone or vice versa?

Remember this picture?
The TV show Roseanne has been cancelled by a smart ABC president, Channing Dungey, a black woman, who said, "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," The racist tweet by the star was directed toward Obama's former aide, Valerie Jarrett, also black, with additional smearing of Muslims. Rosanne's actual tweet...
"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."
The "vj" at the end was, of course, Valerie Jarrett. Barr has also recently targeted Chelsea Clinton by calling her "Chelsea Soros Clinton."

As far as the show, Roseanne, is concerned, we watched it once and didn't think it was that funny. Apparently, it did have heavy appeal with Trump supporters, possibly because Roseanne voiced so much support for the candidate in 2016. The media described a lovefest between Barr and Trump since they share things like bigotry and intolerance. It is a sure bet to me that with the numerous racist rants by Donald Trump both before and after he was elected, Roseanne Barr felt completely comfortable with her racist comment against Jarrett.

To begin with, Trump and Roseanne both favor the use of Twitter to spew their garbage, picking odd hours to do it in. The comedian goes after her enemies with vehemence, as does Trump, and they share a rich fondness for the conspiracy-loving Alex Jones. He's the guy who called the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which left 20 school children dead, a "hoax." They have both appeared on his show and, according to Roger Stone, Trump's former political strategist and campaign adviser, Trump and Jones speak on the phone from time to time.

Dean Obeidallah of CNN describes the two, "a couple made in bigotry heaven." What more could be said?

Recommended Reading: Roseanne Barr show cancelled
                                           Roseanne/Trump share "certain" traits

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Are we doing the Monkey Trial all over again in Arizona?

Evolution became a household word with Charles Darwin's writing of the Origin of the Species, which ultimately led to...
"Darwinism, a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce."
It is a theory in fact that, although accepted by the scientific community over the years, has been challenged by countless religious groups. The 1st Amendment does guarantee freedom of religion, but the First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion, better known as Separation of Church and State. Unfortunately, this 'separation" always seems to be in the most defiance when the Republicans are in control.

Arizona does love its guns but this week the hot issue is evolution, by which our dufus State Education Superintendent Diane Douglas wants to weaken its teachings in public schools and emphasize creationism. As schools head, she has always emphasized ideology over education, which has brought her to the evolution table.  For the last year, several dozen science teachers have been working to update the state’s science standards – the first such rewrite in 15 years. Douglas took a red pen to their proposal, as follows...
Science teachers, for example, want their high school biology students to explain “how the process of evolution result(s) from natural selection.” 
Douglas wants students to explain “how the process of evolution may result from natural selection.”
Douglas' claim is that evolution is a theory and "that while there are parts and pieces of it that are [valid] we can, I think agree, are proven science, there are other areas of it that are very theoretical." She added that the theory of intelligent design should be taught along with the theory of evolution. A 2008 poll found that "one in eight high school biology teachers already teach creationism as a valid scientific alternative to Darwin's theory." The Monkey Trial brought evolution into the spotlight in Tennessee in 1925 with John Scopes on trial, which solved nothing.

Apparently scientists around the world think Diane Douglas is as big a nut case as we do here in Arizona. Here's an opinion from the UK...

"The Association for Science Education, which represents the UK’s science teachers, says Douglas’ proposal to cast doubt about evolution would 'undermine the scientific literacy of Arizona’s students.'"
The downside of all this is that politicians like Diane Douglas rave on and on about issues like this to appease their base while the children of Arizona have to deal with one of the lowest rated education systems in the country.

Recommended reading: Laurie Roberts/Arizona Republic
                        Laurie Roberts, AR column

Additional Reading: The Monkey Trial

Can't believe the NRA blames free press for gun violence

The blame stops here
It's been going on for a hundred years, blaming everything but guns for gun violence. Excuses used by the gun nuts are lack of treatment for mental health, film, TV and video game violence, erosion of Christian values and lack of adequate security measures at schools. But the latest selection by the National Rifle Assn.'s head gun nut is the media. Only a warped mind like the one in the head of the NRA's Wayne LaPierre could come up with this one. Here's what their video said...
"journalists are more responsible for school gun violence than the ease of access to guns: 'Over-reporting on school shootings inspires other shooters. … Ignoring shooters and not giving them any attention will do more to stop school shootings than any gun control measure ever will.'”
In other words, don't cover the shooting event in the media, which means the NRA won't have to defend their intentions of putting as many guns on the street as possible.

It is an extremely troubled person that can believe bullshit like the above, and maybe it's the gun huggers we need to take the guns away from. Back in the 20th Century "The NRA also argued at the time that because criminals already did not follow the law, it was nonsensical to pass controls that in any way impeded the average person from acquiring a firearm." Translated, that means, let's put all the guns on the street we can and if criminals do get them, what the hell. Only a complete moron would make a statement like the above.

Even Harry Truman was duped by the NRA when the country was suddenly flooded with overseas firearms, they told him, "the foreign influx and ready availability of firearms was a nonissue." And in the 1960s the NRA faced a fierce public because of its opposition to gun control laws. Then comes the cry of "a failed criminal justice system that was too lenient on crime." But in 1969, a commission formed by Pres. Lyndon Johnson found "two out of every three homicides are committed with guns." The tragedy of all this is the NRA blame game has worked...until now. Enlightened we go today.

Recommended reading: SLATE

Additional reading: US/GAMER
                                NEWS & GUTS

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do you want to be naked or dress up your data?

Facebook's Cambridge Analytica’s unbridled use of the profile data of 50 million Facebook members during the 2016 election must have opened the eyes of at least some of those out there that give up their personal data at an alarming rate. This practice has virtually abolished the word privacy to another planet. The Nation says...
"Nearly the entire Internet is based on the following trade: You give us intimate personal data, and we give you magical services for free. This is the original sin, and almost every major website you visit (except Wikipedia) commits it. (Yes, dear online Nation reader, there are at least five trackers running on you as you read this.)"
The Internet is a wonderful invention, no doubt something we could not do without these days. My wife and I were talking today about all the books on our shelves we could get rid of since every bit of information in them can be found on the Internet. What we have collected over the years includes a large amount of reference, which we plan to give to used book stores and library sales, along with fiction, which is comprised of several of the classics. Most of the fiction, especially the classics, we will keep. In many homes a well stocked library was always considered a necessity.

Just this May the General Data Protection Regulation took effect in Europe, and we will all see a subtle shift in how big platforms deal with our data. Already I have had a notice from Blogger that they are updating my blog to confirm with the new European regulations. The purpose in all this is transparency of what personal data companies collect about you online. In the case of Cambridge Analytica it was all about politics, how they determine the right location on Facebook to place a political ad.

A Democratic firm by the name of DSPolitical claims to have invented a “political cookie,” an online tool for targeting individual voters, a new technology online much like direct mail was in its infancy. It's supposed to spare you from being flooded with useless political ads that you would prefer not to see. But to do that, it must know everything it can about you to make the decision. And there lies the problem. At least for those of us conscious of our privacy rights. Unfortunately the rest of you will fling your private information at anyone that promises you "magical services for free." Duh?

Concealed-carry laws amplify violent crime

I live in gun-loving Arizona, one of 33 states where the right-to-carry law means you can swagger all around town like you are Wyatt Earp reincarnated. In Arizona you can actually take your gun into bars, schools and public buildings. The National Rifle Assn. with head gun nut, Wayne LaPierre, leading the way, has convinced these pathetic souls that their guns are more valuable than the lives of their family, friends, neighbors and innocent individuals. But all of this could be changing if an apathetic American public takes notice of new research on concealed-carry.

This all may have stemmed from the research of John Lott and David Mustard in 1997 that found more guns meant less crime, which was flawed in its findings, even certifying an increase in violence with concealed-carry through new research by legal scholars John Donohue and Abhay Aneja and economist Kyle Weber. They confirmed the following frightening statistic published in The Nation...
"Ten years after a state passes a right-to-carry law, violent crime—which includes murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—will be 13 to 15 percent higher than if the state had done nothing."
Adding to the validity of the new report is the number of years available to the researchers on which to base their analysis; those years between 1981 and 2007 when right-to-carry laws were passed, ten of those years after the John Lott and David Mustard report. The new paper took advantage of cutting-edge statistical techniques by constructing synthetic control groups for states using what’s known as a LASSO analysis to pick the best variables for comparison. Their findings were always consistent in the fact that...
"When states passed right-to-carry laws, violent crime ended up higher than it would have been otherwise."
It's time to get the cowboys and cowgirls off the street and generally begin a sweep to curb the number of guns owned in this country with some relatively tough new reasonable gun laws. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Trump unconscionable in self adoration

Here's how the Oval Office lunatic honored the fallen dead on Memorial Day with the tweet heard around the world that makes the U.S look like idiots...
“Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”
Actually, it just leaves you speechless. 

Memorial Day for the heroes

The word memorial is identified as a commemorative act to perpetuate the memory of a person, event, etc., usually carried out as a monument or a holiday. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was inaugurated by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic [U.S. Army] in 1868. It was for the purpose of honoring the 620,000 soldiers killed in the Civil War. In comparison, 644,000 were killed in all other conflicts. In going to war, the participant realizes his or her chance of not coming home alive. That's a hero, and we have many of those today.

There are 22 million veterans in the U.S. (10 percent are women) meaning that 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives. There are lots of reasons for joining up but then there is also the draft, initiated when personnel were needed for the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In other words, the military is made up of a complex group of individuals, but no matter how they entered the service, they were there to fight for, and, if necessary, die for their country. Those that died are the ones we pay tribute to today, honoring their lives and commitment.

Here are three things you may not have known about Memorial Day...

  • John Logan originally meant Memorial Day for Union Soldiers only
  • The Vietnam War was responsible for Memorial Day becoming a national holiday
  • Although many towns claim to have been the birthplace of Memorial Day, Waterloo, New York is officially recognized as the first to commemorate the day
Along with my fellow veterans and all the rest of you out there, we want to convey our gratitude to those who didn't make it back and our heartfelt thanks for your ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Don't let someone steal your new Medicare card

My insurer, United Healthcare, in connection with my AARP membership, just sent me their guidelines to help avoid someone scamming your new Medicare card which you should be receiving any day, if not already. Their points are:
• No action is needed. New Medicare cards will be automatically mailed to the address that CMS has on file. Medicare beneficiaries should not provide any information to anyone claiming it is needed for the new card.
• A temporary card is not needed. Medicare beneficiaries can continue to use their existing card until they receive a new one.
• CMS does not charge for Medicare cards.
• Medicare will not call. Be suspicious of anyone calling about the new Medicare card.
The most frightening thing you can experience today is medical identity theft. Here's the worst-case scenario. Someone steals your medical records, say, by having your new Medicare card info. They go to the hospital with a life-threatening diagnosis of diabetes. Because they have stolen your medical records, this information is entered into your file. You are not diabetic and at some point something happens to you that you are taken to the hospital unconscious. Because your record now indicates you are diabetic, it could be assumed you are in a diabetic coma, thus, doses of insulin to revive you.

Depending on how much insulin you were given, you could have dangerous side effects like hypoglycemia where blood sugar levels are so low that the body is not able to function properly. or it could even cause death. OK, this is the extreme, but I use this example to point out the fact that you should guard your medical records as much or more than your financial information. It is my understanding that one of the primary reasons for issuing new Medicare cards is to get rid of the Social Security number as you Medicare ID number.

That means you must protect it now the same as you have always been advised to protect the SS number.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mexican gun violence stems from lax U.S. gun laws

There is only one gun store in Mexico, just outside Mexico City, heavily guarded on a Military base. To even get inside the store, buyers must go through months of background checks. And Mexico has its own 2nd Amendment, but it stipulates that federal law "will determine the cases, conditions, requirements and places" of gun ownership. And while each day the army gun store sells only an average of just 38 firearms to civilians, "an estimated 580 weapons are smuggled into Mexico from the United States." Clearly, their problem is U.S. gun laws, making more guns available to the public.

The LA Times reports...
"About 70% of guns recovered by Mexican law enforcement officials from 2011 to 2016 were originally purchased from legal gun dealers in the United States, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives."
How does this all stack up? It's the American connection where the National Rifle Assn.'s head gun nut, Wayne LaPierre, believes in spreading guns around the country like the spreading of seeds by farmers in the Spring planting. Guns proliferate on the streets much like the crops in the fields. Except, they end up killing the innocent rather than feeding the hungry. It's an American tradition that is now seriously affecting our southern neighbor, adding to the drug cartel violence. There are 67,000 licensed gun dealers and gun shows in this country, the latter where just a warm body can buy a gun.

Mexico has a ban on assault weapons but, once again, enough come across the U.S. border to satisfy the appetite of the bad guys, especially cartels, in this case. Chelsea Parsons of the Center for American Progress touts the problems of International drug trafficking in a report that "found that 66% of Mexico's homicides were committed with a gun in 2017, up from 15% in 1997." It's beginning to look more and more like the U.S. and they don't like it. Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party said recently...
"Instead of threatening walls, instead of threatening to militarize the border, we demand that they stop the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico."
Illegal immigrants coming north and illegal guns going south. What should be the priority with such a good nation that has been our partner for years? 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Did No. Korea call V.P. Pence a "political dummy?"

Mike Pence
Donald Trump has cancelled the Nuclear Summit with No. Korea's Kim Jong-un due to rhetoric on the part of Kim. Choe Son Hui, a vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry then said...
"if the US continued on its current path, she would suggest to North Korea's leadership that they reconsider the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un."
She then called V. P. Mike Pence a "political dummy" for warning "North Korea that it could end up like Libya if it fails to make a nuclear deal with Washington." Choe called the comments "unbridled and impudent." Pence said on Fox News, "As the President made clear, this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal." And then John Bolton commented, "the US would look to the negotiations with Libya during the early 2000s when dealing with North Korea." You would think they were already in the war room with these remarks.

Adam Mount, the director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists said, Pence's comments were the "most explicit regime change threat yet" from the Trump administration. Jean Lee, the director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center commented, "They (the North Koreans) are very proud, they don't like being bullied and they certainly don't like the repeated references to Libya and the repeated reference to its poverty." Unfortunately, our negotiator is perhaps the world's top bully.

Warmonger John Bolton avoided Vietnam War

John Bolton would have us here
Yes, John Bolton is a wimp, according to Slate, declining to go into combat, he enlisted in the National Guard and went to law school. His words: "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy," That's a touching statement from the man Donald Trump just appointed his national-security adviser, a move that refutes another of T-rump's campaign promises, to get us out of these stupid wars. Bolton is a warmonger who has never seen a war he wouldn't promote and he has Trump's ear.

The Nation reports that...
"Under Bush, he cooked intelligence to fit the case for the Iraq War. He still defends what was the greatest foreign-policy debacle since Vietnam."
In more from the Nation, John Bolton believes that any negotiations with No. Korea is a time waster and was known to be thinking of steering Trump away from the talks he had planned with Kim Jong-un. Well, apparently it worked because T-rump said on Tuesday he was afraid that the summit will be a "political embarrassment," The administration noted the fact that No. Korea was not ready to denuclearize, something Trump has demanded. The move by Kim Jong-un is very convenient for Bolton who is for going to war with No. Korea now, something Congress hasn't ruled out.

Back in August 2017, The Atlantic reported even then that it could be the most destructive war ever and noted that with No. Korea's current nuclear set up, it would take only 30 minutes for them to hit Los Angeles with a nuclear missile. This whole fiasco has been going on for decades but Donald Trump is the first totally unhinged U.S. President to be involved. If you compound that with John Bolton at the help of national security, it is very frightening to think what could happen. I'll leave you with this...
"Trump has also tweeted [2017] that North Korea is 'looking for trouble' and that he intends to 'solve the problem.' His administration has leaked plans for a “decapitation strike” that would target Kim, which seems like the very last thing a country ought to announce in advance."
Has the Oval Office lunatic learned anything since then?

NOTE: It's official, Donald Trump canceled the summit with No. Korea's Kim Jong-un. Enter John Bolton?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

U.S. No. Korea summit off...Will John Bolton decide the next war?

The culprits
Donald Trump has cancelled the Nuclear Summit with Kim Jong-un's No. Korea and there is no indication of what the next move will be. South Korea is totally confused over T-rump's decision, apparently based on this comment...
"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."
 You can see his letter to Kim, here, with a semi-friendly dialogue, but still interlaced with the typical Trump boasting...
"You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used."
Was that a threat? Was it written by John Bolton? Will we end up in a war before we can get rid of this raving maniac? It's a circus, folks, and someone is about to kick the poles out from under the tents.

Texas mentality always thinking about guns

Typical Republican campaign advertising 

The centerpiece of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's reelection bid was the giveaway of a “Texas-made shotgun“ in a campaign contest. That's the way gun nut political candidates impress their gun nut supporters. After a gunman used a shotgun in a Friday rampage that left 10 dead in a high school near Houston, he changed the contest gift to $250. But in February Kansas candidate Tyler Tannahill stuck to his "campaign giveaway of an AR-15 rifle despite criticism in light of the prior Wednesday's mass school shooting in Florida." The weapon used in the Florida massacre was an AR-15.

It is a given that these gun huggers value their weapons more than the lives of their family, friends and neighbors, even their children. but this Kansas imbecile, a Republican, of course, also cares more about winning his election than the values listed above. Even John Fredericks, a conservative talk radio host, criticized Tannahill's giveaway, saying he felt it was "in really bad taste." Folks, we are talking about giving away the same kind of assault weapon that has been used in most of the recent school shootings, a good indication of how guns can get in the wrong hands in this country.

This kind of lunacy exists all over this nation. A Virginia politician gave away an AR-15 in 2016, Georgia candidate for Governor gave away a bump stock in 2017, and as far back as 2014, the hottest conservative campaign gimmick was free guns. It is an obsession for something that is designed for only one purpose, to kill. Yes, some guns are used for hunting, but I wonder about the ratio between the quarry of hunters and the fact that guns have killed 5,574 people already in 2018, with a total of 22,587 incidences of gun violence.

It is obvious that America has a gun culture built around the protection of the 2nd Amendment ratified in late 1791, over two hundred years ago. It is currently a ruse in the U.S. Constitution put there by men thinking as people in a new country, at the time, who believed governments used soldiers to oppress the people. In modern day, the military is known as the national force that protects Americans. Only a mentally deprived gun nut would think today that the 2nd Amendment still gives him or her the right to do anything they like with a gun. Not only nonsense, just plain stupidity.

How young voters will determine 2018 elections

49% of Millennials (ages 18 to 35) cast votes in 2016 along with 63% of Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51), comprising a slight majority of total votes cast. However, it was Millennials who favored Democrats in a big way while Gen Xers went for the GOP. But the popular vote didn't matter since Hillary Clinton received almost 3 million votes more than Donald Trump. The latter won the presidency through the vote of the Electoral College, a result of congressional districts nationwide gerrymandered for years by Republicans.

The above took place thanks to a sloven DNC head, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

But Millennials have overtaken Babyboomers now and Pew Research says, "It is likely, though not certain, that the size of the Millennial vote will surpass the Gen X vote in the 2020 presidential election." Democrats got 55% of the youth vote in 2016, compared to Republican's 37%, and Rock the Vote, a group that is focused on increasing young registered voters, is predicting Millennials will be the largest voting bloc in 2018. This group doubled the size of its vote from 2008 to 2016, with 34 million votes cast in the latter.

In a recent Florida poll, where the Parkland gun massacre took place, it showed that immigration topped gun control in the November election; Florida is 22.5% Hispanic. But according to the younger population, stricter gun laws are a major issue with them that will no doubt reflect on Millennials in November; this high school group voted 67% for stronger gun control laws and 55% against teachers carrying guns in school. The age group here is just below the Millennial age, but some are already old enough to vote and thousands more will be soon, even before November.

There are over 71 million Millennials living in the United States today, and a lot of them are mad as hell. Since they lean heavily toward the left, it is safe to say that Democrats are heading into November with optimism. Although gun control is fading as an issue for the election, "46 percent say a candidate's position on gun policy will be a major factor in deciding whom to vote for." That's down 13 points from February," right after the Florida shooting. It will be incumbent now on David Hogg, and the other survivors from the Parkland, Florida gun massacre to carry the ball from here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How many Trump scandals are there? Atlantic says only one

Is there another way?
Atlantic magazine has documented possibly the best list of scandals that Donald Trump is guilty of, while coming to the conclusion there is only one. There are, in fact, multiple cases which I will show later but these all add up to one entity...
"the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability."
Yes, corruption is Donald Trump's real scandal, but the numerous public embarrassments this lunatic has put our country through are both heinous and completely unacceptable for the President of the most powerful nation in the world. Here are some of them...
"Russian campaign to aid Trump’s candidacy, president obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, president’s hush-money payments to women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, corporate cash paid to influence White House, ongoing effort to interfere with the Russia inquiry and politicize federal law enforcement, foreign governments that seem to be utilizing the president’s properties as vehicles for influencing administration policy..."
...and there are a few others you can see in the Atlantic article. There's the recent stuff...
Aid to Chinese company ZTE following the Chinese government approved funding for a project in the vicinity of a Trump property in Indonesia, millions of dollars corporations paid to Cohen after the election for presidential favors, and then there was Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s own mini-universe of scandals...
The list goes on and on but does add up to one word, corruption. The United States is governed by a man so unscrupulous that there is nothing he won't do to promote the Donald Trump brand. His ego is postal as he is mired in a narcissism that ignores everyone else, the whole world. There was an American public that put him where he is, and a U.S. Congress (Job approval 16%) full of blithering idiots that have allowed this to go on longer than a year now. We have a nation in crisis and there is no one to bail it out, except, perhaps the youth. We can only hope they go to the polls in November.

Oliver North joins Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick with his gun stupidity

OK Corral at your nearest school
It was Oliver North who said earlier...
"the 'disease' causing such rampages is not firearms but 'youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence' and who have “been drugged in many cases.”
This quote from an earlier post launched North's new career as President of the National Rifle Assn. (NRA), confirming that the NRA's head, Wayne LaPierre, got his brainwashing completed early. Ollie is crammed with enough gun rights bullshit propaganda to last...well, that is something to be determined by the current gun control movement. Actually, he narrowed it down in The Daily Beast article quoted to Ritalin...
“If you look at what has happened to the young people, many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten,” North said. “I am certainly not a doctor, I’m a Marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening,”
When I was in the Navy, we called Marines "jarheads," so one would have to assume here that someone unscrewed Oliver North's lid and let all of his brains out. And then the Texas Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick (R) last Sunday, following the latest mass shooting killing 10 in his state, with a vague reference to the 2nd Amendment, stating that, “our teachers are part of that well-run militia,” as if our forefathers had meant all the time that teachers should be armed. School massacres are the focus now but in the NRA's mind everyone should be armed. In other words, create a police state.

I live in Arizona, a few miles from the famous city where the gunfight at OK Corral happened in 1881. They have reenactments of the event three times daily, and gun nuts from the top down, starting with NRA head, Wayne LaPierre, should be required to come and view something that although representing an historical moment, also illustrates the potential mayhem of arming everyone for protection. I have relied on a police force to protect me locally and U.S. troops to do it internationally for 85 years and it has worked well. What doesn't work is leadership like we have today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wlll Michael Cohen dump Trump to save himself?

The Gang-Trump-Stormy Daniels-Michael Cohen
There is no honor among politicians (my version of the "thieves" aphorism) and I wonder if it is just a matter of time before Michael Cohen decides to jump off the Donald Trump bandwagon and vie for himself. He should make his move soon, if he plans to, before the whole T-rump fiasco begins to spiral down into the depths it was destined to achieve from the beginning. Cohen has recently come, "under investigation in the Southern District of New York for possible campaign-finance violations and bank fraud." A perfect profile for the personal attorney to the President of the United States.

And then there is the Stormy Daniels issue, the porn star who claims to have had a 2006 affair with Trump, denied by same, but then the man recently admitted to the payoff of $130,000. That's a pretty hefty sum for a roll in the hay, even if he is a billionaire. This is all so bizarre, and it could only be allowed to go on this long with the idiots that populate the U.S. Congress. Democrats and Republicans. But wait, all of the above were put there by voters who were either uninformed or mentally incapacitated. I can say that because I didn't vote for any of them.

There's another $150,000 payment Cohen was involved in with Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti alleges there are more, saying on MSNBC...
"he has nearly completed reviewing claims from two additional women who said they signed similar, Cohen-negotiated NDAs for affairs they alleged to have had with the president."
You have to understand that all these agreements and payments were devised and signed to prevent these women from revealing that they were having an affair with a married man who was running for President of the United States. But even after the Oval Office lunatic was elected, this made absolutely no difference to his loyal supporters and the rest of the country has apparently said "ho-hum." And that's where the United States is right now, a ho-hum nation.

Oliver North just completed extensive NRA training

Oliver North-NRA's new propaganda master
One would expect no more from Oliver North, recently elected head of the National Rifle Assn., and true to the cause as dictated by NRA head, Wayne LaPierre, than to blame everything but guns on the Santa Fe, Texas massacre of 8 students and 2 teachers. This gun nut actually dismisses "the role of guns in a spate of recent high school shootings." North's words...
"the 'disease' causing such rampages is not firearms but 'youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence' and who have “been drugged in many cases.”
Can you believe this idiot? The recent mass killings of students, according to North, are caused by everything but the guns used to commit the mayhem; guns, in this case, which were owned by his father and available to the shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzisbecause the father didn't secure them. Even if he had, Pagourtzis could have easily obtained one under the lax gun laws in Texas. And I don't remember the shooter being on drugs. What did happen, apparently, is bullying of this young man, but it takes some other contributing factor to make him resort to this kind of gun violence.

As has been the case in all the school bloodbaths, the availability of the weapons has been a key component in the carrying out of the shooter's mission. And the flags that are raised by most of the killers, like Pagourtzis wearing a black t-shirt with the inscription "Born to Kill." It isn't cute, nor something to snicker about; it is a serious statement that is a prediction of what that person might do. In this case, he did it. Didn't his parents see him in this shirt, or the students at Santa Fe High? We have become entirely too apathetic over these things, which only encourages the next incident.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Red Flag law should have prevented 10 deaths at Santa Fe, High

Ten people were killed, ten wounded at Santa Fe High School in Texas. The shooter was 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a student at the school. Reports say two guns were used in the attack, a shotgun and a .38 revolver, but I have also heard that Pagourtzis had an assault weapon, all legally owned by his father. As is the case with many gun owners, they don't secure their arsenal. CBS News notes that...
Dimitrios Pagourtzis
"Pagourtzis' social media pages showed multiple images of guns. He recently posted a photo wearing a t-shirt reading "Born to Kill" and there were also photos of a long green jacket with Nazi regalia."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claims that, "unlike Parkland, unlike Sutherland Springs, there were not those types of warning signs." If wearing a t-shirt with the inscription "Born to Kill" isn't a warning sign of pending violence, the Governor of Texas must explain just what is. Abbott's reaction to the incident in this way is clearly designed to disguise the fact that his state of Texas does not yet have a Red Flag law...
"Red flag laws – also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) or Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) – enable law enforcement, and sometimes family members and other concerned parties, to petition a judge to remove guns from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others."
If there is any law right now being considered in the gun control movement that should be enacted across the nation, immediately, it is the Red Flag law. Yes, there could be incidents where law enforcement makes the wrong move, but on the other hand, how many childrens' lives could be saved? Only nine states have the law, another fourteen considering it, but in twenty-eight states there is no law, nor are there any active bills. Check this article for the apathetical states like Texas who apparently care more about their guns that the lives of their children.

Trump connection?- You have guaranteed income

Some consider lobbyists the scum of the earth because they often influence legislation in Congress that is very bad for this country. The best example is the National Rifle Assn. and its gun rights laws. Over the years it has been connections that made lobbyists so effective, resulting in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which failed miserably. Politico found...
Nine years following the enactment of this bill, "352 people who left Congress alive since the law took effect in January 2008, POLITICO found that almost half (47 percent) have joined the influence industry: 84 as registered lobbyists and 80 others as policy advisers, strategic consultants, trade association chiefs, corporate government relations executives, affiliates of agenda-driven research institutes and leaders of political action committees or pressure groups."
But the epitome of connections has been those associations with Donald Trump, following his election. In a USA Today analyses...
"Lobbying firms managed by former campaign aides, fundraisers and others with ties to President Trump and Vice President Pence have collected at least $28 million in federal lobbying fees..."
Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is an excellent example of what the Trump-buddy relationship can reap. He received more than $2.3 million in payments from corporate clients including $600,000 from AT&T and $1.2 million from Swiss drug firm Novartis. Cohen is now the target of a criminal investigation in New York. Ballard Partners is another large Washington lobbying firm and it claims to have "several well-known Democrats" on its staff. The Oval Office lunatic, as of this writing, has had no comment on lobbying activity.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Latest Donald Trump: Illegal Immigrants Aren't People

Said from a White House round table this past Wednesday while continuing...
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It's crazy.”
Sounds like Donald Trump is running for 2020 with the same rhetoric he used in 2016. Author Clint Smith in Vanity Fair, pointed to the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide...
“It’s easy to dismiss what Trump said as nonsense . . . but there is a long tradition of entire groups of people being likened to animals before [and] during periods of mass violence against them."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said T-rump was referring to only the MS-13 gang but after listening to the full manuscript it is, "abundantly clear that the president, while responding in part to a prompt regarding the MS-13 gang, was in fact speaking generally about illegal immigration." If this doesn't raise the ire of the Hispanic community to get out the vote this November and in 2010, they can only blame themselves.

Will Kaitlin Bennett soon succeed NRA's Dana Loesch

Kaitlin Bennett
Kaitlin Bennett is the epitome of an NRA trained gun nut, coming from a Republican Ohio family. What always amazes me about these people is that they play back almost to the word, the propaganda spewed by National Rifle Assn. head, Wayne LaPierre. Here are a couple of typical Bennett quotes...
“I believe that if the government has it, we should have it. Machine guns — any weaponry.”
“To make sure the government can’t go against the citizens, we should be able to protect ourselves against a tyrannical government.”
If she was talking about Donald Trump, at least she got that part right.

But the head gun nut couldn't have said it better, and Bennett's plans are to stay in Kent to continue her activism. If LaPierre and his minions are looking for someone to take the place of burned out Dana Loesch, this young lady should apply for the job. She's already appeared on Fox and Friends and has taken the time to insult David Hogg, Parkland survivor, so she certainly has the qualifications to work for the NRA. And she's had death threats, provoking this comment...
“I’m not nervous, because everyone knows that I’m armed. I don’t know why they would threaten an armed person.”
And that statement showcases the mentality of a true gun nut. Be safe Kaitlin. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Did NRA cooperate with Russians and Trump in 2016 election?

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a report Wednesday suggesting that Russia, "used connections to the NRA 'as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his [2016] campaign.'" This Russian connection re. the influencing of the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor becomes more bizarre by the week. The NRA reportedly did donate $30 million to Donald Trump's election campaign. And Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has his investigation going but a McClatchy report in January said...
"the FBI was investigating whether a top Russian banker funneled money to the powerful gun lobby group [the NRA] to aid Trump's underdog campaign."
About that time Hillary Clinton was way over-confident being 25 points ahead. And this points out the fact so effectively, all it takes to elect an idiot to the Oval Office in this country is money. It's all quite complicated involving Alexander Torshin of Russia's central bank, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Maria Butina, a Torshin protege, who founded the Russian group Right to Bear Arms. During the campaign...
"Mr. Torshin, Ms. Butina, and their intermediaries repeatedly offered the campaign back channels to Russia and relayed requests from President Putin to meet with Mr. Trump,"
The NRA declined to disclose their sources of "dark" contributions received, those identified are not required to be made public. With this dark money remaining secret, if the NRA really wanted to prove their innocence in this issue, they would certainly want to release these records. Barring this release, it is appropriate to be suspicious of Wayne LaPierre's National Rifle Assn. as a co-conspirator in the Russian election investigation.

Does Rex Tillerson still think today Donald Trump is a moron?

Rex Tillerson tells the truth
It was pretty well established that in a meeting in 2017, the then Secretary of State called Donald Trump a moron. Later he was removed from office but recently commented...
"If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom."
Wow, this competent and well-respected man will not go quietly, and still puts forth the feeling that this country is being led by...a moron? During his tenure at state, his boss Donald Trump, "said more than 3,000 things that were either misleading or totally false during his first year in office -- a rate of more than six mistruths a day," as reported by CNN. That is a record I don't think any president in the future will even come close to. It is also a shocking record for the President of the United States. The kind of conduct you would expect from a dictator. On second thought, why not?

In a 2017 Quinnipiac University poll the question was asked, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of President Trump?” The answer...
"A total of 53 people responded with the word idiot, 44 with liar and 36 with incompetent. Another 26 people gave the response a**hole, while 19 respondents said moron, 18 said arrogant and 17 said disgusting.”
It wasn't all bad for Trump. In another Quinnipiac poll, voters did say they disapproved of the job he’s doing by a margin of 57 percent to 37 percent. But as a first-year president, "35 respondents gave pollsters the word 'leader' and the same number picked 'strong,' while 21 answered 'great.'”

Still not enough. We agree with Tillerson, Donald Trump is a moron.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mass killing ten Texas students without assault weapon

Dimitrios Pagourtzis
Well now we know that you can take out 10 students in a high school using a shotgun a .38 and some bombs. No AR-15, just plain old everyday killing tools. 10 killed with the killer in custody who admitted he didn't have the courage to commit suicide. It was the Santa Fe, TX high school and the shooter's name is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a seventeen-year-old. I am really beginning to wonder if this kind of thing has become so common the American public actually no longer gives a shit? OK folks, wait until it hits your high school.

Note: Later sources indicate there was an assault rifle in Pagourtzis' possession; no indication yet if it was used.

EU's Tusk deems Trump and U.S. an unreliable ally

Donald Tusk
Those uninformed doormat supporters of Donald Trump who say he is in there "kicking ass" and getting things done just had that mentality shoved down their throats with a harsh rebuke from the President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, making the following remark...
"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, some could even think, ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’”
America has always been a nation that prides itself in its individuality while cooperating with other countries around the world. Yes, there have been tiffs with the likes of Russia, China and North Korea, but we have been fortunate in solving most disagreements with diplomacy. Another option is war, one of which the Democrats got us into in Vietnam, the most recent by Republicans, and much worse, in Afghanistan and Iraq. But then there's Donald Trump, and his willingness to withdraw from the Iran deal and the threat of a transatlantic trade war, reported by the Guardian.

As the most powerful country in the world--and we are on the precipice of losing that--we should lead, not dictate. The UK, France and Germany have decided to stay with the joint plan against Iran because those in charge of the three countries are smart enough to see the diplomatic benefits over starting a war in the middle east. John Bolton was brought into the White precisely for decisions like the one on Iran. Bolton is known to believe that the U.S.'s strength enables it to bully nations all over the world, even taking on China in the South China Sea.

Right now, the nations of the European Union are our closest friends, the kind we desperately need as Russia and China continue to rattle their sabers, and North Korea, with another lunatic at the helm, could go postal any day. It's is imperative to stand up for what you believe but most sophisticated individuals solve their problems with negotiations. 

2016 Trump voters ignorant but not poor

Foreign Policy Magazine says what we already know, that Trump did win in 2016, but adds that he was elected because voters are "ignorant literally." And these poor souls who elected him aren't in the low-income bracket as some have maintained, their average income is $72,000 per year. U.S. median household income is $55,760. Although a Pew study of voters from both parties claims that Republican voters are more informed than Democrats, Foreign Policy states those who put this lunatic in the Oval Office are definitely uninformed. Findings from political scientists studying the issue for well over 65 years...
"Voters generally know who the president is but not much else. They don’t know which party controls Congress, what Congress has done recently, whether the economy is getting better or worse (or by how much)."
This is why we end up with morons like Donald Trump in the White House. Precisely why we also have the idiots we do in Congress, and we can't get rid of either. Yet. FP would have us believe it is not because voters are stupid--something I quickly disagree with, at least some of them--rather they don't do their research. And that in itself is stupid when it comes to the responsibility of voting, particularly in the shape this country is in under Republicans.  I'll leave you with this...
The great political scientist Philip Converse once said: “The two simplest truths I know about the distribution of political information in moderate electorates are that the mean is low and variance is high.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sean Hannity wishes Donald Trump beddy bye every night

I don't know if Hannity says 'cuddle up and sleep nice,' but he does place a call each evening at 10PM following his Fox News show at nine in New York. The Independent News calls this, "both laughable and worrying, considering the crazy stuff that pours out of Hannity’s mouth constantly, and undoubtedly into Trump’s empty head." This could account for some of T-rump's middle-of-the-night tweets that are completely off the grid. Apparently even Trump calls Hannity back sometimes holding conversations that don't disturb Melania since she sleeps in another bedroom.

Here's what Rob Reiner tweeted...
"We’re told that Trump whisperer Sean Hannity and the pathological liar engage in pillow talk every night. Comforting to know that the fate of democracy and the free world rests in the hands of a ventriloquist and his dummy."
Another said...
"I wouldn't be shocked to learn Trump's first question to Hannity every night is, 'What are you wearing?'"
Only a bunch of uninformed morons would support a president that pulls the crap that this man does. But the tragedy of it all is the idiots in Congress that allow it to continue. I no longer think November will be a landslide to the left, but I cannot believe there won't be a reckoning. I'll leave you with this commentary by Stephen Colbert you find here on Salon.

Scandal is Donald Trump's new middle name

Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels

Scandal forced Richard Nixon out of office, almost got Bill Clinton, but Donald Trump is the enigma of the political century. It started with the Russians, to influence the 2016 election, angled over to paying off porn star, Stormy Daniels, careening next to Michael Cohen's influence peddling. The Oval Office lunatic is either ignoring the uproar, or he really is too stupid to realize the deep shit he is in. Lanny Davis, the former Clinton attorney who now specializes in crisis management said...
"Usually in crisis management, you have a terrible week, and your first rule is to get it all over with. In the case of Trump, he seems to not care."
And the irony of all this is that special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, is not the predator, rather career prosecutors in New York, going after Trump through his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. USA Today reports that "At least 27 times over the past two weeks, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her deputies have referred questions about the controversies to the [personal] lawyers. So, does this mean that with time Trump's ratings will decrease and he will no longer be able to bargain with Congress? That could bring about more chaos in the GOP, which won't bode well for November.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Religious affiliation down as more elect to be "nones"

"Nones" of another variety than we're used to in the Catholic Church, and, of course, spelled different, are the driving force in religion as we know it today. They are either "atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular,” according to the American Family Survey Their numbers are 34% of all Americans with Protestants trailing at 33%, Catholicism 21% in this late 2017 study. I have said for years that the primary thing wrong with religion is the organized church and continue to believe it is precisely that which is creating this new important group.

Other factors accounting for the exodus are the strict disciplines that have often harsh requirements in order for the congregation to participate, like the Catholic faith, but then there is the latest barrier, an LGBTQ community that isn't welcome, especially by Evangelicals. Here are passages from the Bible re. homosexuality...

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

According to one source "The word “homosexuality” didn’t even show up in English translations of the Bible until 1946," so Bible thumpers can't really trace it back to the original scriptures. And that brings about another theory of mine, the Bible is a book written by men who, even if inspired by the holy events of the day, nevertheless were people like us. Prone to mistakes, which in many cases account for confusions found in translation after translation. But the obstacles against the LGBTQ group is only one problem for the church; with so many more, the "nones" are sure to proliferate.

International gun control gets in the act

Probably most of us have not thought enough about international gun control when the situation is so bad in this country, far surpassing those of other industrialized nations like the U.S. As an example, this country had 3.85 gun deaths per 100,000 population in 2016 compared to Japan .04, China .06, United Kingdom .07, and Germany .12. There's more but you get the idea. The international conference was about eliminating the trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, but has several other aspects to its agenda...

  • Exert greater control over ammunition
  • Support women’s participation in small arms control
  • Crack down on illicit trade in small arms and ammunition
  • Strengthen legislation to disarm domestic violence abusers
They also want to address things like guns in the home, a problem very prevalent in the U.S. since 1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns in this country. Did you know that 91% of all children who die from firearms in high-income countries across the world come from the United States. So, the high level of gun violence and the need to fix it is not debatable. And since the Mary Stoneman massacre, the right button seems to have been pushed, and the gun control movement has gained a momentum that just may be both deep-rooted and enduring.

Donald Trump Says He Will Be Indicted On Tuesday

  THAT'S TODAY... Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought the case to this point, now looking at a possible indictment. Trum...